Pak-NZ Tied T20 Series 2-2 With Host Secure A Dramatic 9 Runs Victory In Last Match

PESHAWAR, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News – 28th Apr, 2024) In the fifth and final match of the five International T20 matches Series between Pakistan and New Zealand at Gaddafi Stadium Lahore, Pakistan won by 9 runs to level the series at 2-2.

Fast bowler Shaheen Afridi played the fifth and final T20 against New Zealand after his absence from the fourth match. He also got the honor of having his individual record in the shortest format as he became the first bowler in the world to take 50 wickets in his first over. He completed his 50 wicket haul of the first over when he took the wicket of New Zealand’s opener Tom Blundell.

The first T20 match at Pindi Stadium in Rawalpindi was incomplete due to rain. Pakistan won the second match by seven wickets, New Zealand won the third match by seven wickets and in the fourth match played at Gaddafi Stadium Lahore, the Kiwis defeated the Green Shirts by 4 runs and took a 2-1 lead. The New Zealand team showed a better performance and the Kiwi team also proved in Rawalpindi that they are not a weak team and in the fourth and fifth matches they gave Pakistan a tough time.

Before the series, experts said that New Zealand’s school team or B team is coming to Pakistan and Pakistan will easily win this series but in these matches the same B team of New Zealand proved their good performance is everything.

Even if there is a world-class team in front of them, neither Pakistan’s batting nor could bowling work in these four matches. Under the captaincy of Babar Azam, he did not seem to be calm and it is difficult to keep Babar as the captain for the World Cup.

On the other hand, Pakistan’s players also did not show their passion that used to be there. All the players looked exhausted. The Green Shirts’ middle order is scoring just 7.30 runs in T20 cricket between 7-15 overs, which is better than only Afghanistan.

Australia lead with a score rate of 9.75, South Africa are second with 9.35 while India are 7-15 overs. Pakistan ranked third with a run rate of 8.97. Pakistan have wide options in the middle and lower middle order with Mohammad Rizwan, Iftikhar Ahmed, Shadab Khan and Imad Wasim.

Against an average team, if Pakistan third at their home ground. A classy performance put a question mark over Pakistan’s middle order in the T20 World Cup. ICC T20 World Cup 2024 is just one month and six days away. But Pakistan’s middle-order batting has failed as usual. Some experts believe that the Pakistan team made a lot of mistakes in this series.

Criticizing the Pakistani team, former cricketer Rameez Raja said that instead of making excuses for bench strength, emphasize the importance of focusing on winning the match, these decisions are demoralizing as a team.

He said that in the team the ‘so-called experiment’ is happening, the same players are playing, only their positions are being changed, which is causing loss to the team. Bench strength means giving other players a chance.

Chasing the target of 179 runs given by Pakistan in the match, the entire Kiwi team was bowled out by scoring 169 runs in 19.2 overs. After Pakistan‘s victory in the fifth and final match, the series was leveled at 2-2, a match was ruled out due to rain. Shaheen Afridi was awarded the Man of the Match and Man of the Series awards. Tim Seifert and Josh Clarkson were prominent with 52 and Josh Clarkson 38 runs from New Zealand, Michael Bresol 23, James Neesham 16 and Mark Chapman scored 12 runs, apart from them, none of the Kiwi batsmen could enter double figures. From the side, Shaheen Afridi took 4 wickets with excellent bowling, Osama Mir 2, Shadab Khan and Imad Wasim managed to take 1 wicket each.

Earlier, New Zealand captain Michael Bracewell won the toss and decided to field first. Pakistan scored 178 runs for the loss of 5 wickets in the allotted twenty overs. Babar Azam played a brilliant innings of 69 runs, while Fakhar Zaman scored 43 runs and Usman Khan scored 31 runs, Iftikhar Ahmed scored 6 runs and Saim Ayub scored one run. Shadab Khan remained not out with 15 and Imad Wasim with 4 runs. James Neesham, Ash Sodhi, Ben Sears, William O’Rourke and Zachary Foulkes took one wicket each for New Zealand.

New Zealand’s MS Chapman topped the batting performance of the series as he scored 126 runs at an average of 42 in five matches, including a half-century. He scored 125 runs at an average of 31.25, which includes a half-century of 66 runs. Pakistan‘s Fakhar Zaman is in third place, who scored 104 runs in two matches at an average of 52. The best innings was 61 runs. New Zealand is in fourth place. Seifert remained Seifert scoring 85 runs at an average of 28.33. The best innings was 52 runs. New Zealand‘s Robinson was at the fifth position, who scored 83 runs, the best innings being an innings of 51 runs.

On the bowling table, Pakistan‘s Shaheen Afridi was at the first place, who dismissed 8 players at an average of 10.

The best bowling was four wickets for 30 runs. Abbas Afridi took the second place with five wickets. The best bowling was three wickets for 20 runs. Third, New Zealand‘s Rourke, who dismissed four players, was the best bowler, taking three wickets for 27 runs. New Zealand‘s Sodhi, who took four wickets, was at the fourth place. Pakistan‘s Shadab Khan was at the fifth place, and he dismissed three wickets.
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